climate strike

"Enough is enough": Australian kids have a message for us all about climate change.

Today, thousands of Australian children are abandoning their classrooms, boarding buses and trains, and swarming city centres around the country as part of a global climate strike.

They’re not wagging, or being irresponsible. They’re trying to tell us something. Something about our planet, and their future.

And it’s time we listened.

These are the voices of young people from around the country on the climate crisis.

Doha, 17.

​"Climate change is the biggest injustice being dealt to our generation. It's a problem at we did not create, but one that we must all take responsiblity to address, in the face of a complete lack of leadership from our government. The economy, tax cuts, whether or not electric vehicles are rolled out - all these issues dim in comparision to the climate crisis that we are facing and the wilful ignorance shown by politicans to this fact will not be forgotten by the thousands of young people that have taken to the streets today. We will not forgive our futures being written off by our political leaders, and the very adults that were supposed to protect us. I urge any one who can to join in on the calls for climate action. After all, 'if not you, then who? If not now, then when?' We are running out of time, and it has well and truly fallen on us to demand action when our political leaders have buried their head in the sand. Together, we cannot be ignored."

Isaac, 8, and Amali, 6.

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Isaac: "It's important to be kind to our environment because we might not have a world in our future, and the sea animals and the land need our help.

"We help the environment by doing our compost and that makes soil for the plants. We recycle stuff and we reuse things like bottles and have a KeepCup.

"Please don't throw rubbish on the ground and if you see rubbish pick it up; have compost; don't use plastic bags."

Amali's tip: "reuse and recycle, and have a metal straw and KeepCup so you don't waste".

Niamh, 17.

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"We are in in the midst of a climate crisis and our government is choosing to ignore it. They are not taking the action we need. I am taking action by striking from school for the climate because I do not have the power to vote yet, and so I — along with everyone else —have to sacrifice our education to make them listen. Because they have no choice but to listen. The politicians and polluting corporate companies must act now because everyone deserves a future. Together we will fight for climate justice, and together we will win."

Sampson, 16.

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"We have known about the harmful effects of climate change for decades, we should've taken action to resolve this crisis long before I was born. But due to the influence of the fossil fuel industry and the billions of dollars they pump into our government and news corporations, they have effectively silenced any opposition to them for years. But that's changing.

"What was once regarded as what will happen in the future has finally arrived. Just this year alone, we've seen the hottest temperatures on record, ancient rainforests in Brazil and up in Queensland on fire at a pace that has never been seen before. Our Great Barrier Reef is seeing bleaching of an unheard-of magnitude, our planet is on the brink. The evidence of the effects of climate change has become so apparent that the fossil fuel industry and our politicians can no longer act as if it is 'business as usual.' Entire parts of the world, such as the Middle East and Australia, are at risk of becoming uninhabitable over the course of this century. Climate change is the greatest threat we have ever faced, whether we like it or not it is here, and how we choose to respond to it will define our generation and future generations.

"There are many ways to show support in the fight for climate justice. You can contact your local representatives at all three levels of government and push them to support our strikes and work towards solving the climate crisis. But one important note, don't lose hope. It might be hard to feel that a single person can make a difference in a world built around the almighty dollar, but remember we started with one Swedish girl striking alone in front of the Swedish parliament, and on September 20th that one person became millions."

Emma, 6, and Jack, 4.

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Emma: "It's important to fight against climate change because if we don't stop polluting then we won't have anywhere to live and we will die".

Her tips: "Don't buy plastic. Ask your parents not to buy you plastic toys."

Evan, 17.

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"Climate change is all-encompassing. Everybody will be affected by our rapidly changing climate, irrespective of whether you live in Australia or Africa. Climate change, among other things, exacerbates natural disasters, destroys marine and land ecosystems, and acidifies our ocean. Climate change and a shift towards sustainability in every sector, from energy to agriculture, is required for us to keep moving forward and to survive.

"To our political leaders, I find it ironic that we call you leaders. Time and time again, I've seen opportunities for sound investments in renewables float right past you as you continue to cling to the ancient, obsolete fossil fuels industry. Stop refusing to acknowledge renewables as the next step. When I go to the polling booth, I go there to elect a leader, not a businessman. Not a celebrity. You're a leader, and your job is to carve our path to a bright future. So lead.

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"Anybody who wants to join the fight, you can. That's the thing about climate activism - it's inclusive to all. There are a variety of environmental organisations you can join to help, Extinction Rebellion, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Australian Conservation Foundation. If you want to join School Strike 4 Climate, attend the strikes. Be sustainable. Send a letter to your local MP, or better yet, to Scott Morrison himself regarding your concern about the environment. We can do so, so much, if we just let ourselves take that one step forward."

Sara, 17.

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"Across the globe, students are standing up and striking against government inaction on climate change. We are seeing undeniable evidence of a climate crisis, and leading climate experts have said that if we continue how we are, these impacts will become irreversible by 2030. So climate activism is essential, and as the young people who will see this occur during our lifetimes, it’s us who want to lead the fight.

"The government needs to be listening to the people who say enough is enough. When we strike, we make it impossible for them to ignore us, and in this urgent situation. It is vital that they are listening. It’s simple enough. Everyone needs to be taking action. Climate change is a threat to our future. And we need everyone on board to stop it."

Lila, 6.

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"On Friday I'm going to the protest with Mummy and my friend Hugo and his Mum. We're going to tell the government that they have to look after the planet and stop making so much pollution.

"I wish that people would stop hurting the animals. My favourite animal is the orca and they are threatened.

"To be kind to the environment I think everyone should plant more trees and seeds."

Aoibhinn, 17.

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"I am striking on Friday because I will not stand by and let the Australian government continue to destroy our world and put our futures at risk with their denial and inaction on the climate crisis. We have been presented with the fleeting opportunity to change everything for the better or suffer the consequences. Time is running out, which is why we need to act en masse, now.

"If I could say one thing to Scott Morrison it would be: how dare you not only think you can steal young people’s futures before our very eyes, but also try to stop us from making the world a better place.

"Large-scale change starts and ends with the individual. We, the people, have the power to turn this around if we all do whatever we can in our day to day lives. If that is making small lifestyle changes such as eating less meat or requesting leave so you can strike for your future, it all starts with doing some research and it will all count towards the bigger whole that is saving our world."

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Sophia, 16.

(a.k.a. Plastic Free Sophia, the teen leading the fight against single-use plastic bags in NSW)

 

 
 
 
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"It is so important to take action on the climate crisis as humans have been placed on this earth to take care of it and live in harmony with creation. However, due to anthropogenic process, we humans have become the creators of the destruction of this beautiful earth. It is so important to act now, as we only have one earth and the earth gives us everything necessary to live: air, food, shelter and water.

"We have not been placed on this planet to destroy it, nevertheless we have. Now future generations will be living on borrowed time. It is important to take action to stop the clock on the destruction of our planet so that future generations and creation have the same privileges of living a long life on this beautiful planet.

"The issue of the environment should not be [politically] left or right! I personally believe the environment should be a bipartisan agreement. Young people are now innately concerned about the destruction of our natural environment and we will do everything in our power to make sure we do not face irreversible consequences. The strike is just one of many examples of how youth are protesting for our future and raising our voices. In the upcoming future, the youth will be voting and I just want to wish all the current politicians luck. The youth are rising and until our governments take action, we are not going away!"

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